With the theme 'All Children Are Welcome to School, Including Children with Disability`, eight thousand students, with disabilities and without disabilities, of 29 schools in Bangladesh, rang the bell at a time for a minute between 12:00-12:01. Thus they created the attention to the policy makers and others, who are in a position to eliminate the barriers that prevent children with disabilities (CwD) from going to school. In line with the 'We Ring the Bell' programme, a global campaign of education pioneered by Lilliane Fonds, an organization based in the Netherland, this extra-ordinary campaign is organized in Bangladesh by its strategic partner Disabled Rehabilitation and Research Association (DRRA) and its 19 partner organizations.
Children got together in school premises and created attention to the policy makers and other through making noise by ringing bells, drums, sirens, flute, whistle, dish-spoon etc. Along with students, parents, teachers, school committee members, educational officials, political leaders, civil society personnel, religious leaders, NGOs, local Government & local Administrative official, polices and journalists were also participated in the events.
DRRA and Directorate General of Health Services jointly organized a sensitization meeting on incorporating disability data in DHIS-2 database of the government. The meeting was held on 6 June 2017 at Shaheed Dr. Milon Auditorium of DGHS. Prof. Dr. A H M Enayet Hussain, Additional Director General (Planning and Development) and the Line Director Non-Communicable Disease Control (NCDC) facilitated the meeting while the Executive Director of DRRA Ms. Farida Yesmin presented the dissertation on common tools for screening and diagnosis of different type disabilities importance of disability data preservation under health system.
In order to increase skill for identification and prevention of persons with disability and refer to the primarily identified patients to Upazila hospital, DRRA organized a Refreshers Training for 240 Community Health Care Providers who received full course training in last year. The training held for all CHCP of 9 Upazila under Satkhira, Chittagong, and Manikgonj district on the different period of the month of June 2017.
The refreshers training were held with giving special emphasis on basic statistics on disability, risk factors, Disability Protection Act 2013, Neuro-developmental disorders and Autism, Mental Retardation and disability due to mental disorder and others. The nature and symptoms of twelve types of disabilities were also discussed in the training. DRRA published a flash card on 12 types of disabilities and distributed among the CHCP and doctors. The training conducted as an activity of ‘Promoting Inclusive Health and Rehabilitation Services’ (PIHRS) project of DRRA supporting by CBM. DRRA is implementing this project under a joint initiative with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It may be mentioned here that DRRA signed a memorandum of understanding with Community-Based Health Care (Community Clinic). This is a strategic partnership between the organization and the authority of the Community Clinics of the government who are responsible for serving the health care services at the community level under the Directorate General Health Services (DGHS) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).
DRRA organized a refreshers training on disability identification and prevention for government doctors at Chittagong. The refresher was a part of the main training which was conducted for 100 government medical doctors and community-based healthcare providers in last year. The refreshers training basically focused the risk factors to disability, prevention of Neuro-developmental disorders and Autism, Mental Retardation and disability due to mental disorders. Also, the nature and causes of 12 types disabilities discussed in the training. The Executive Director of DRRA, Farida Yesmin facilitated the refreshers training. 17 Government doctors from Raozan, Patiya and Banskhali Upazila of Chittagong district attended the day-long training. The training was held on 18 June 2017 at Chittagong Civil Surgeon Office Auditorium.
This workshop is a part of the activity of Promoting Inclusive Health and Rehabilitation Services (PIHRS) project of DRRA for people with disabilities running in 3 districts in Bangladesh. Chittagong is one of them. In Chittagong, PIHRS project running at 3 selected Upazila named Patiya, Banskhali and Raozan.
A workshop with different stakeholders of inclusive Education has been organized at Shyamnagar Upazila Auditorium on 12th October, 2017. Where teachers, representative from the government Education department, Representative of social services department and Members from Disabled people organization were present and shared their experiences on Inclusive Education implementation. Upazila Nirbahi Ofiicer were in the chief guest for the workshop. They were appreciated the DRRA inclusive education model and also recommended to conduct more special training like braille and sign language for the teachers and expand the DRRA program with at least 5 years program till completion the primary level to see the result of project implementation whose got enroll in grade one through the project intervention.
A meeting with School based Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management(DiDRM) Committee has been organized by the Cingrikhali Maddhaymic Bidda Niketon where all the student were attended and shared their learning form the school based DiDRM Activities are implementing through the Need Based Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities(I-Ed) project. In this meeting the Honorable Executive Director of DRRA and Country Coordinator of CBM -Bangladesh Country Office, Jata Abing-Taga-an – Program Officer (CBM Austrilia), Mohammad Mushfiqul Wara-Program Development Manager (CBM BCO) were present. The committee members shared their role and responsibilities on disability inclusive Disaster Risk Management.
Parents teacher associations are playing the vital role to implement the Inclusive Education of the mainstream school at Shyamnagr Upazila.20 patents teachers association reformed with the representation of parents have children with disabilities in schools. They are playing their role to bring the children at schools and also supporting the schools to make the school environment enable for the children with disabilities. They are also inspiring the parents to send the children and their children Educational rights.
Student council became inclusive with representation of children with disabilities as a member and they are playing their role making the school atmosphere positive for the children with disabilities. Student council are organizing different inclusive sports program and also providing support to make their disabled peers more confident. They expect that, the scenario will be changed and student with disabilities will come at school and will enjoy their Education if they can work together.